To be a Missionary is not to be a Revolutionary

The Holy Father today, in his Angelus message at noon in Rome, made the following comment (my translation of the Italian original):

“Missionary work is not to revolutionize the world, but transfigure it, drawing from the strength of Jesus Christ who ‘draws us together at the table of the Word and the Eucharist, partake of the gift of his Presence, to form us at his school and to always live more conscious of our union with Him, Teacher and Lord.’ (Message for the 84th World Missionary Day). Christians of today — as it is written in the letter to Diogeneto- ‘demonstrate how glorious and extraordinary their communal life can be. They live their lives on the earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey established laws, but the way of life surpasses these laws… They are condemned to death, and from death they bring forth life… While doing the good; they are persecuted and yet they grow in numbers every day.’ “

I find it something to meditate on:  the difference between revolutionizing and transfiguring the world.

Perhaps his point is revolution  is the work of human beings whereas transfiguration is the work of God through we his servants. Transfiguration may lead to death, but it most often requires a patient application of the Christian life in the quiet of daily activity, rather than crisis in the streets.

Transfiguration requires an awareness of our use of time. It requires an eye of faith to see time not so much as a chronological series of events, but as an opening for the grace of God to break forth into the immediate moment.

Transfiguration is a much more powerful event.

Transfiguration is a transformation of reality, whereas revolution is a “turning back again” a “rotation” of current events with the hope of re-stabilization.

Transfiguration is the incarnation of the Word in the present moment; revolution is an upheaval through political and social will and power.

Transfiguration is the Resurrection;  revolution is war.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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